Versions - Zola Jesus
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Aug 20, 2013
    89
    There’s nothing for Danilova to hide behind here, and having her so present throughout this album is breathtaking.
  2. Aug 26, 2013
    80
    This sort of alternate-universe intimacy with songs we've already come to love makes Versions a wild success, proving that something wemusic once coveted for its desolate nature can be just as warm and familiar when flipped into something else entirely.
  3. Aug 23, 2013
    80
    More than a mere souvenir or stopgap, Versions is a sumptuous release that affirms both the increasingly unique and essential nature of Zola Jesus' music and the enduring genius of JG Thirlwell.
  4. Aug 19, 2013
    80
    While Versions may be too tasteful-seeming for die-hard fans of early Zola Jesus, the album's undeniable beauty reveals another accomplished facet to Danilova's music.
  5. Aug 15, 2013
    80
    This is her most effective project to date. [Aug 2013, p.60]
  6. Aug 15, 2013
    80
    These versions serve to highlight what we already knew, that Zola Jesus is a phenomenal talent. To have these songs reworked and in some cases made even more powerful than the original counterparts is testament to the skills and attention to detail of all those involved.
  7. Aug 15, 2013
    76
    Danilova has taken these compositions about as far as they can go, and still there remains something intriguing about Zola Jesus, not just for her ghostly enigma or art world appeal but now for what really comes next.
  8. Aug 27, 2013
    75
    As ever, Danilova's vocal is the real standout.
  9. Aug 20, 2013
    75
    Even if a few of these songs falter in a side-by-side comparison with the originals, the string-enhanced versions of these songs make for a compelling listen, thanks to Danilova’s poised delivery and the arrangements as a whole, giving her a versatility and appeal beyond her electropop fan base.
  10. Aug 26, 2013
    74
    At times, Nika Roza Danilova’s opera-trained voice sounds overly formal against the string-only instrumentation. But the compositions benefit from her willingness to shed her electro goddess skin.
  11. Aug 29, 2013
    70
    Forcefield disengaged and stripped of her trademark Apocalyptica Electronica white noise, it makes for an intimate, affecting experience.
  12. 70
    Nothing on Versions quite tops the intensity of those first two tracks, and so the project carries some loose weight at its bottom half.
  13. 70
    The results are remarkably plangent and romantic.
  14. Aug 16, 2013
    70
    Refined, and dangerously decadent.
  15. Aug 15, 2013
    70
    So Versions, the answer to the question of what happened when Zola Jesus met JG Thirlwell with orchestral intentions, is a success.
  16. 70
    A successful experiment, a great record in its own right, and (hopefully) a great primer for a subtly evolved next effort.
  17. With repeated listens though, the tracks on Versions don’t entice you back again and again like the ominous hook-laden tracks of Stridulum or even the wide sound palette of Conatus do. Versions is probably best for those who were there at the Guggenheim concert.
  18. Aug 30, 2013
    60
    Whether or not an attempt to be faithful to the original recordings (which kind of defeats the purpose), his compositions are, while lyrical, touching and impressively accomplished, fairly middle of the road.
  19. Aug 15, 2013
    60
    Danilova's vocals have a cadence that hovers between uplifting and exhaustingly overwrought, but fans at least will love these vivid, live-feeling renditions. [Sep 2013, p.97]
  20. Aug 15, 2013
    60
    Versions isn't a triumph but it does highlight just what a striking talent Danilova is.
  21. Aug 26, 2013
    30
    With Versions, Jesus achieves something her previous albums hadn't: She's created art so unobjectionable that it attains a kind of beige obscenity.

There are no user reviews yet.